African and african american studies

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Thomas Sammons,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
M. Jean Edwards,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

“The Villa: Antithetical Response to Urbanism or a Treasury of Urban Values”
In his comprehensive study, The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses, J. S. Ackerman states, “the image of a refuge in the country focuses not so much on the clearly defined rural functions as on a cornucopia of values absent or debased in the city. The city, as the locus of social interaction, is inevitably mundane and temporal, while the country, in exacting confrontations with the immanent brute forces and enchantments of nature, prompts inspired responses” (Ackerman, 1990, p. 286). This paper will examine two roughly contemporaneous villas, Palladio’s Villa Rotonda and Katsura Imperial Villa, in order to discover what, if anything they have to reveal about the urban condition of their respective cultures. Do they, as Ackerman suggests, reveal an emphasis on values absent in their urban cities, or rather do they celebrate in their individuality values that could only be established and cultivated in an urban condition?

Doug Graf,

Ohio State University
“Common Roots...The Structure of the English Village and Its Influence on Post-Romantic Architecture”
This paper will attempt to relate two different issues: a) the structure of the English village up until around 1800, and b) the architecture of the last three centuries. While seemingly completely different- e.g., one is seemingly haphazard and unplanned, one is the focus of rational attentions- there are a number of ways in which they are related- the desire for an 'organic' composition, complexity, and especially in the last few decades, an increased interest in non-standard geometries. This paper will try to make the argument that the two are, in fact, strongly related in terms of formal devices and strategies and perhaps even in terms of influences and origins.

Nadya Kozinets,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Architecture and Domesticity in Soviet Union Post-Stalin Era”
The most lasting legacy of the Soviet experience was transformation from a rural country to an urban one. After WWII, the Soviet urbanity changed as countless rows of low-quality apartment blocks expressed a uniform socialist culture that had a profound and adverse effect on the psychology of Soviet citizens. This building culture operated in the Soviet Union for more than 70 years and in Eastern Europe for 40, but limited research has been done on how human beings have interacted with the built urban environment in the Soviet world. This paper attempts to analyze the changes in the Soviet urban fabric from late 1950s to 1980s and their effect on social and family life. The paper also examines architectural forms and principles of soviet architecture in order to draw an overview of Soviet architectural practice during these decades. The main objective was to understand how USSR’s socialist ideals served to reconfigure housing and urban typologies to reflect the sociocultural and ideological fabric of Soviet society. Another objective was to highlight the differences between Soviet-Style and Western architecture based on readings of Soviet books, a personal experience as well as review of literature.

Hector LaSala,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Teach As If Beauty Matters the Most”
“Beauty will save the world” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky). Alberto Pérez-Gómez in his book Built Upon Love argues that at its primordial origin western architecture is intricately linked to Eros' creative and libidinal powers, with Daedalus the emblematic architect: the one who harnesses "the power of the poetic image to engage others in a communion with other worlds within our world." The import of these thoughts towards an assessment of what and how we teach our future architects, in particular at the embryonic stages of their development, goes without saying. If we concur that an enraptured, Eros-intoxicated imagination launched our discipline, we ought to then consider making the most important objective of our beginning studios to facilitate a deeper yet playful engagement between our students' creative capacities and the semantic impulses of germinal ideas and themes. My advocacy is for a more sustained encounter; one that is not compromised, truncated nor abridged due to other competing objectives and curricula constrains. For this encounter to be genuine and for its concurrent process to remain in flux, a tolerant and generous milieu needs to prevail.

Ashlie Latiolais,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Think-Collaborate-Implement: Reconnecting Historic St. Martinville”
The city of St. Martinville, Louisiana is a community rich in culture and heavily trusted unto tradition. Geographically, the small town is positioned along the navigable Bayou Teche and surrounded by rural farmland. The City of St. Martinville owns an undeveloped three-acre tract of land along the established waterway in the heart of the city’s downtown. This land became the catalyst for the architecture student and citizen to unite in a real-world public project and urban study. The relationship between the City and the Graduate Studio initiated a unique opportunity for both the pedagogy of the urban design project and student/client collaborations. Collaboration is the ‘thinking’ process that became the design agency of the students. The future of what this property could become developed into a series of ideas, discussions, and questions of larger inner-city connections amongst both members of the forum and St. Martinville citizens. This paper discusses a proposal that acknowledges and connects to local history while formally organizing everyday and specialized events along the bayou-front property. The studio began to use the idea of collaboration as a generator for the visionary products.

Andy Loewy,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“The Automata: A Vehicle for Introducing Mechanization to the Industrial Design Studio”
Gears, cams, pulleys, levers, and crankshafts are all essential to mechanization and are the very cornerstone of the field of Industrial Design. Practitioners and students of Industrial Design are aware of mechanization conceptually but how many understand the workings of a machine in the comprehensive way that is essential to becoming a competent designer. Without a doubt students are entering our classrooms having spent much less time working with their hands than they did previously. As a consequence, our students often feel much more comfortable in front of a computer screen than working directly with materials. The understanding of how things work is acquired through what the author refers to as the “tinkering process” and requires an inquisitive, discovery oriented, and direct kinesthetic approach to using materials. To introduce mechanization to a second year Industrial Design class the author makes use of a particular type of machine known as “Automata”. The Automata has a rich design history and coupled with its inherent humor and often playful character its introduction makes for an ideal teaching tool.

Richard Lycan,

Portland State University
“Developing Neighborhood Level Statistics from the American Community Survey”
There is great interest in socioeconomic measures for neighborhoods on the part of planners and community organizations. Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) for census block groups can be aggregated into neighborhoods, but high measures of error render confusing results. The general public finds it confusing to be shown a value, say the poverty level for a neighborhood, and then be told that the value might be considerably higher or lower. I propose is an inversion where data for an expanded area in and around each neighborhood is summarized to stabilize the measure. In the resulting tables or maps the level of error is fixed, but the degree to which the neighborhood needs to be expanded varies and the extent of the inflation is shown to the viewer in lieu of a standard error. Users may have more tolerance for the inflation of the data than they do for uncertainty. An adapted grid is used to generalize data for the neighborhood, similar to applications in epidemiology. The paper will explain the methodology and illustrate the creation of neighborhood data tables and maps for ACS data relevant to older persons.

Jerome Malinowski,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Transit Design Metamorphosis in the 21st Century”
The Transit Design Studio continues in the design of diverse transport systems relative to the university environment. Discussions will encompass an elevated tram cable system, cycling infrastructure support, conceptualization of drone ambulances, off road fire and ambulance vehicles and way finding. Design criteria and local industry collaborates encourage the potential for local manufacturing.

Kiwana McClung,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Drowning Flags: Considering the Flood Resiliency Potential of Butte La Rose, LA and the Socio-Environmental Systems That Exacerbate Supremacy Culture, Preventing Tenable Architectural Strategies”
The implicit nature of resiliency is to return. Deliberation of a constructed environment’s resiliency potential, socio-environmental and ecological systems, when it reveals a social climate of transient pragmatism and racially intolerant cultural demonstration, unveils a state of in architectural impasse. In their working paper on The Long-Term Perspective on Resilience in Socio-natural systems, van der Leeuw and Aschan-Leygonie laude the essay of German philosopher Luhman in which he states “[…] society does not communicate with its environment, it communicates about its environment with itself […]” (van der Leeuw & Aschan-Leygonie, 2001), a statement that, in their view is indicative of the widening rift between nature and culture. The entitlement that allows the privileged to ignore broken, vulnerable systems parallels Leeuw and Aschan-Leygonie’s belief that the culture-nature disconnection leads to ideas about nature in which social dynamics are presumed dominant. This paper explores the socio-economic nuances which form Butte La Rose’s architectural typologies, the environmental conditions that threaten its continued existence and the cultural convictions which lead to effacement of viable resilient strategies.

Mark O'Bryan,

University of Kentucky
“The Love Hotel”
Omnia Vincit Amor...Love Conquers All. The power of love is the most mysterious of all human emotions. It’s very elusive and mysterious nature compels our hearts and minds to exist in those “in between layers” of space and time. It is a place with and without boundaries, such as the conventions of architecture. It is place fueled by our inner artistic sensibilities, the memories, the imagery, and passion of the individual expression. When combined with the composites of another, whether through a physical embrace or desire-driven fantasies, the space of the love hotel becomes a collage of time and experience. The Love Hotel stirs our perceptions with rich visual imagery. It captivates our sense of reality and fantasy in mating ritual of art and architecture. As humans, we are drawn by the primitive forces of love and lust. We are motivated by our instincts and our biases of the real and the unreal. You may find love in the Love Hotel, or you may find fantasy within its walls. But regardless, you will find magic lurking behind every door.

Thomas Sammons,

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“Processes of Community Design”
The I-49 Corridor Urban Design Project is a NAFTA highway connecting Winnipeg, Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana, and is designed to intersect close to the downtown area of Lafayette, Louisiana. This six-mile urban and neighborhood design project is funded by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and by Lafayette Consolidated Government. While this interstate project brings opportunities for the region, it also poses a disruption to neighborhoods and the existing road infrastructure. This project provides an opportunity for the Graduate Studio in the School of Architecture and Design (SOAD) to engage the city and neighborhoods in public forums and charrettes. The Community Design Workshop, an institute in SOAD, was asked by Louisiana DOTD to integrate urban design, landscape design, housing and architectural design into the mechanics of road building. The project will utilize the School’s faculty and the School’s graduate students.

William E. Thoms,

North Dakota State University
“Bus Rapid Transit-A Capital Idea”
Bus rapid transit is the use of buses on dedicated rights of way to increase access to downtowns or areas of high employment. The use of commercially available buses is considerably less expensive than building rail rapid transit systems, and still gives quick access to government or business locations from suburbs. State capitals in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Colorado are shown as examples.


Diane Calloway-Graham,

Utah State University

Barbara Bonnekessen,

New Mexico Tech
Nicholas Alozie,

Arizona State University

“The Digital Gender Divide: Confronting Obstacles to Women's Development in Africa”
The African Union has declared 2010-2020 as the African Women’s Decade to accelerate African women’s development. However, to achieve the Decade’s goals, African countries must acknowledge the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in consolidating human capital.  This research examines ICT usage in Sub-Saharan Africa and finds that men are more likely to own and use the technologies. Education, socioeconomic status, domesticity, and traditionalism are all linked to ICT use. However, the gender gap does not arise as a result of differential returns to these factors for men and women. Rather, they manifest when fewer women have the resources, or are more disadvantaged in accessing and using ICTs. The findings have implications for theory and policy.

Barbara Bonnekessen,

Pittsburg State University
“The Past is Prologue: Are Today’s Welfare Regulations Contemporary Versions of Sumptuary Laws?”
Sumptuary laws have been documented in many stratified societies; in general, these are regulations imposed by the elite on its own consumption patterns. Throughout the European Middle Ages, they shift to become visible symbols of class differences and, slowly, become regulations that target the lower classes. Throughout this time, laws used to be applied to men and women; or, more specifically, to men and their wives. Sumptuary laws enter the colonial US, but disappear by the 19th century. They reappear in legislations against alcohol and, later, nicotine consumption. This paper argues that current welfare legislations that focus on permitted and forbidden foods are a resurgence of sumptuary laws as they focus on poor women and create a public symbol of poverty marking through nutritional enforcement.

Humberto de Luna Lopez,

“Mercados de Trabajo para Mujeres Campesinas en América Latina: Entre la Estadística y la Realidad”
El objetivo de este documento es exponer los principales mercados de trabajo dónde se encuentran las mujeres campesinas, que tienen como sustento las estadísticas y la evidencia empírica de investigaciones de caso. La pregunta guía del trabajo, es mostrar cuáles son los indicadores económicos que se toman en cuenta para incluir o excluir las actividades realizadas por este sector de población en la categoría mercados de trabajo y por las instituciones oficiales. Para ello, primero se exponen los elementos teóricos del concepto trabajo desdoblado en dos categorías. El primero conocido como trabajo clásico, en tanto se realiza en el espacio cerrado de la fábrica y el segundo, el no clásico, que se realiza en distintos espacios. Ambos trabajos pueden ser o no remunerados pero se consideran productivos por la generación de valores de uso y de cambio. En segundo lugar se expone el contexto socioeconómico latinoamericano caracterizado por una diversidad compleja y heterogénea en la cual se inscriben las actividades realizadas por estas mujeres. En tercer lugar, los datos oficiales sobre el trabajo de las mujeres campesinas y la evidencia empírica de investigaciones concretas sobre la misma temática.

Cecilia Gowdy-Wygant,

Front Range Community College
“Margaret Mead and Global Environmental Consciousness”
American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, long associated with her work on the sexual practices of traditional South Pacific and Southeast Asian cultures, is not included in most historical discussions about the growing environmental movement of the 1970s.  This oversight represents a microcosm of the gendered power struggles for influence over United Nations (UN) policy of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The increasingly male-dominated leaderships of the UN and the global environmental movement utilized her knowledge yet placed themselves in the public spotlight as figureheads.  Mead not only contributed to the development of various UN conferences to discuss international environmental issues, but also led a counter-culture collective to protest hegemony in UN leadership. Mead inspired the public to claim their space in the dialogue over management of the earth.  As a new era in environmental awareness dawned, she was on the front lines forging a path for global environmental justice.      

Shelby Shively,

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
“The Effect of Child Abuse on Future Romantic Relationship Quality”
The aim of this study is to determine the overall effect of child abuse and neglect experiences on later satisfaction in intimate romantic relationships through the use of meta-analysis. I also determine which form of abuse (emotional/psychological, physical, or sexual) has the strongest effect on relationship satisfaction. Analyses were conducted using Comprehensive Meta Analysis software; all effect sizes were converted to a Cohen’s d measure. Experiences of abuse and neglect in childhood do adversely affect later relationship satisfactions, although many studies found strong mediating variables. If therapy efforts were to address these mediating variables, the effects of abuse and neglect may be mitigated.

Charisse South,

Graduate Student
“The Taboo of Public Breastfeeding”
In recent decades there has developed a strong movement of women fighting for reproductive justice around the world. In a world that is increasingly lenient on modesty women are finding themselves being judged for choosing to breastfeed. Despite health professionals advocacy for women to breastfeed, there remains the issue of social support for the women. The practice of breastfeeding is not a new phenomenon, which means there is a point in time that can be explored when societal views shifted from being supportive to being critical of this action. According to Acker (2009) “many women do not breastfeed because of perceived social sanctions.” The aim of this study is to add to the body of knowledge about how views of breastfeeding affect a woman’s decision making process and other variables that may influence their decision.

Adetola Oyewo,

University of Kwa Zulu Natal Duban
“Nigerian Post Graduate Female Students in South African Higher Institutions; to Stay or Return home?”
The number of migrants in search greener pastures outside their home country is increasing exponentially. Key factors influencing migrant’s decision to migrate ranges from postgraduate education, remunerated employment, research opportunities and chance to secure permanent residency. After completion of the program, most of these students become permanent residents thereby constituting those living in diaspora. Nigerian women are not immune from the concept of educational migration. Their presence are noticeable in South Africa as professionals, business women and international students. However, feminization scholars call to attention that there is paucity of discourse on women in theories of international migration, and gender-specific migration experiences, due to gender roles and emphasis on their dependence on men (Ruby,2007). Thomas and Logan (2012) corroborate this assumption that despite female importance in Africa immigration, the literature on female migration remains sketchy.With this background, the paper examines how certain forces in Nigeria in form of ‘push factor and pull’ factors in terms of attractions in South Africa  influenced women’s decision to migrate. The questions that came to bare are what are the complexities involved in female students’ mobility? What factor influences females’ decisions, whether to stay in South Africa or return to Nigeria on completion of their studies? What challenges do they encounter in South Africa? Are these challenges compounded because of their   gender; race, nationality, ethnicity and age? Based on qualitative research method, through interviews and focus group, data was gathered from 25 Nigerian postgraduate women at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The preliminary findings reveal that postgraduate women face challenges financing studies, accommodation, xenophobia and discrimination.

Earlene Smith,

Northern Arizona University
“Health, Body Image, and Capitalism”
Health, particularly women’s health, body image, and beauty ideals dominate many aspects of society today. Images of thin, long-legged, perfect-skinned women permeate billboards, magazines, advertisements, and commercials for nearly every product on the market. These images have helped to inform a current definition of beauty that shapes how women view themselves and view their health. Through this theoretical assessment, I argue that standard perceptions of women’s health are shaped by the capitalistic economic structure and that understanding these influences is an important first step in promoting changes that support healthier and more realistic body ideals for women. By examining the influence of capitalism on social perceptions of women’s sexuality and body ideals, this paper calls for a new application of the theoretical critiques of Silvia Federici and Michel Foucault to help explain current trends in women’s health in the United States.

Lin Xing,

University of Nevada Reno
“Predicament of Alternative Public Domain and Collective Action: A Study On China’s Exclusive Gay Social Media”
The estimated population of LGBT in China is nearly 50 million including confessed and not-coming-out ones. Although rights of homosexuality have not been legalized. The Chinese authorities don’t often intervene gay communities but endorse it relatively expansive freedom space. The tremendous amount of gay netizen (net-citizen, Intertnet users) and active gay groups contribute to the prosperity of gay social media. This research focuses on exclusive gay SNS website and social media app in China’s metropolitan. Through internet-based interview and online survey, the paper attempts to investigate the role of exclusive gay social media, to be detailed, whether it solidifies the gay identity and legal right petition, or degenerates to a platform of cyber-sex predators, porny self-presentation and lust imagine flaunting. The research finds that exclusive gay SNS and GPS-based social mobile apps render an advanced entertainment rather than politicization on LGBT issues. The result is political apathy and rights indifference in LGBT community. The current Chinese society treats LGBT sub-culture in the manner of entertainment. Hence, gay communities gain a comparatively free public domain but ignore pursuing the political rights.

All Sections

Thomas E. Drabek,

University of Denver

“New Findings in Disaster Studies: Implication for Research and Practice”
In the Second Edition of The Human Side of Disaster (2013), Drabek integrated analyses of recent disaster events with his earlier summaries of the disaster research knowledgebase (2010, 1986). This process stimulated expanded analysis of the emerging emergency management profession and the interface with disaster and hazards research. Viewing disasters as nonroutine social problems can guide emergency managers toward a new vision of their profession, one reflecting a community change agent perspective. And it provides important guidance for future research. These themes are expanded through this paper which is organized around three topics: 1) use of fictional accounts; 2) summary of validated research findings; and 3) implications for future research priorities and the emerging profession of emergency management.

Kristan N. Russell,

University of Nevada, Reno
“Attitudes Toward Rape in the Context of Schemas”
In the current study we examined the effect of information salience on perceptions of victim and defendant responsibility in the context of rape. We conceptualized information salience as the extent to which exposure to cross-examination has implications for judgments about the victim in a rape case. Information salience varied as a function of cross-examination of the victim (present v. absent). In addition, we investigated the victim’s relationship to the defendant (stranger v. acquaintance v. boyfriend v. spouse). Our findings revealed the poorest perceptions of the victim were reported in the absence of cross-examination and when the defendant was an acquaintance. Defendant responsibility was perceived as the greatest when the defendant was a stranger to the victim. Attitudes towards rape victims predicted participants’ attitudes towards the victim in the scenario. Finally, females reported more favorable attitudes towards rape victims compared to males.

Haley Whitcraft,

Radford University
“The Epidemic of Veteran Suicide: How Does it Compare to Civilian Suicide?”
Suicide is a form of death that can be prevented, but sadly most everyone has been affected by suicide. Suicide can have far reaching effects, and has an impact on families and friends, as well as the overall community. Although it is not a comfortable subject, examining factors contributing to suicidal thoughts and effective treatment is imperative in order to decrease the number of deaths by suicide. Interestingly, a few specific populations are at significantly higher risk for death by suicide. One of the most notable of which is the veteran population. Veterans have higher than average rates of suicide, but why is this the case? This poster presents findings from a comparative literature review of civilian and veteran suicide rates. Risk factors, protective factors, demographics, and viable treatment solutions are compared between these two populations. These variables are important to compare, because veteran and civilian populations commonly have greatly varied histories and these differences affect warning signs that will allow earlier intervention and therefore more effective treatment, as well as provide guidelines for the most effective treatments for each population. This analysis seeks to help unravel the fundamental differences between these populations, uncovers risk factors that can help predict suicidal behavior, and examine how different treatment and therapy options work best for these two populations.


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